Eight Boys Rescued From Arab Villages Celebrate Joint Bar Mitzvah at KoselJune 25, 2023
Eight boys who were rescued with their mothers from Arab villages by Yad L’Achim celebrated their bar mitzvahs together in a moving ceremony at the Kosel.
The youths were called to the Torah as their mothers looked on tearfully. “All the years in the village, I worried about my son’s future,” said one. “Now I know that I won, and my son will grow up as a Jew.”
After the ceremony, the families headed to the Kosel Tunnels where they were given a “tour” of the Second Beis Hamikdash using advanced virtual-reality technology, as part of a program called “A Look into the Past.” The program gave mothers and sons a sense of what the Beis Hamikdash was like in all its glory.
Yad L’Achim’s Suri Kostlitz was approached by two of the mothers, immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, who told her that they had never before been given an explanation of the significance of the Beis Hamikdash and its central role in the lives of Jews throughout the generations.
“After years of disconnect, they felt a sense of belonging, which brought them to tears,” she recounted.
The bar mitzvah ceremony was held in conjunction with the Chabad House in Netanya, which celebrated the bar mitzvahs of 30 youngsters in the city, as it does every year at this time.
Yad L’Achim officials said that they will bring the boys on visits to Gedolei Yisrael next week, and hold a celebration for each one individually, for family and schools friends.
They added: Every such bar mitzvah connects the boys to the Ju
daism that was stolen from them in their youth and is a testimony to the eternal neshama of every Jew.